While the coronavirus pandemic isolated families and friends inside their homes, it increased online access to poor information. We are talking about both bad sciences related to how to prevent the virus and debunked rumors about cities being put on lockdown. Because of the Internet, people now have access to many conspiracy theories about the origins of COVID-19.
Indeed, misinformation during a public health emergency poses a risk to those who are or might become victims. Thus, before taking any action, it is important that you remember something important. Most people have no intention of sharing bad information. This is a fact. However, you can not trust everybody either. During these difficult times, it is important to acquire the ability to select your sources of information.
Famous conspiracy theories about COVID-19
Bill Gates’ conspiracy
Bill Gates developed an interesting simulation. His study suggested that a pandemic similar to the one caused by the Spanish flu of 1918 could take the lives of 50 million people in just six months. According to him, public health institutions in the world were not prepared for the consequences of a crisis like that.
Gates was showing that the world needed more preparation to fight possible pandemics in the future. He wasn’t hoping for one to happen. Still, conspiracy theorists on the Internet cited Gates’ simulation as if it were something with bad intentions. Bill Gates is a very wealthy businessman who pointed out the lack of preparation for a global catastrophe. However, people believed that he released his study just to make a profit.
Coronavirus vaccine and conspiracy theories
On Facebook, a post went viral with an image that featured a screenshot of a patent that would show the coronavirus vaccine. It suggests that the government introduced the virus. However, they did so that pharmaceutical companies could profit from the vaccine. Although companies indicate in their reports that they are receiving financial aid to create a vaccine, as yet there is no immunization for any coronavirus. This is one among many conspiracy theories based on misinformation.
The belief that the virus is no worse than the common cold
COVID-19 is far from a common cold. We can state this for a number of different reasons. COVID-19 has very different symptoms and more intense than a cold, such as fever, cough, lung failure, etc. In addition, its mortality rate is much higher, around 2%.
Theory that the coronavirus is a bioweapon engineered to wage war on countries
China and America have recently had a history of strained relations. Therefore, some would erroneously think that the coronavirus could have been secretly and purposefully developed in a laboratory. Thus, the virus would be a weapon in some future conflicts between countries. This would be part of a strategy to weaken the opponent’s country. However, there is no evidence in the genome sequence of this virus to indicate that the virus can be manipulated.
Conspiracy theories can be harmful to society because can they influence people’s health choices. Besides, they might help to increase hostility and violence towards those who are “conspiring”. Thus, it is important to combat the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus. Governments should also act to stop misinformation and conspiracy theories relating to the virus. If they get out of hand, we will end up getting severe consequences.